Nov 30 2011

Mayor of London’s praise for community approach in Harrow parks

Harrow Council welcomed today’s visit (29th November) from the Mayor of London and his praise for how community involvement is keeping the borough’s parks some of the safest in the capital.

Boris Johnson visited Harrow Recreation Ground (Harrow Rec) this morning to launch the application process for the 2012 Safer Parks Awards. The awards recognise and promote good practice in tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB) and increasing safety in London ‘s parks.

Harrow Recreation Ground, Roxeth Recreation Ground and Canons Park all earned gold Safer Park Awards in 2011. Only 31 parks across the capital secured an award and just 12 earned the top gold standard – including all three of Harrow ‘s entries.

During his visit the Mayor met with members of the Harrow Rec Users Association, who have worked closely with the Council and police to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the park. He also met many park user groups including Harrow St Mary’s Football Club, and members of Harrow Bowls club, the Harrow Rec Walkers and the Ignite Trust youth charity.

Cllr Phillip O’Dell, portfolio holder for environment and community safety on Harrow Council, said:

“Safe and well-kept parks are the green hearts of our communities in Harrow thanks to our close working with the police and residents.

“Having more local people and community groups using our parks on a regular basis, and involved in how they are run, has been a major factor in making those parks feel safer. By working together we are able to identify and tackle problems like anti-social behaviour in their infancy.

“The Mayor was impressed with what he saw at Harrow Rec and complimented Harrow ‘s approach.

“We will again be submitting applications for the Safer Parks Awards and hope to even increase the number of borough parks to receive this prestigious honour next year.”

Mic Sayer, chairman of the Harrow Rec Users Association, said:

“I’m proud that Harrow has three gold standard Safer Parks and we had a great story to tell the Mayor today that I hope other communities around London can learn from.

“Our success at Harrow Rec is a real joint effort. The various park users, the police safer neighbourhood team and the council work together to create a park we all love and are proud of.

“We are not resting on our laurels either and are planning how to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee next year and talking to the Council about creating a meadow in the park, among other projects.”

Source: Harrow Council

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